Street Portraits

My favorite personal projects often involve going to an unfamiliar place shooting documentary and street portraits as I wander.  Wander shooting and street portraiture let me move and work with three distinctly different moments.

Moment of Connection

First is to capture that instantaneous connection that’s made when one person passes and acknowledges the other.  It’s so quick and often completely unconscious, which makes it that much more transparent. A nod, a brief smile, or not… I think it speaks volumes on the person.  I have to be quick to make the image before there is an awareness of the camera and the shields of self-consciousness rise.

Moment of Interaction

The second is to photograph the often complex relationships between different people. Quick moments that you have to recognize before they occur. 

21 Days : NYC really focused on that.  Constantly moving through crowded New York streets, I averaged 7 miles each day in different parts of the city.  Always walking, thinking about 5-10 seconds ahead, looking for interesting people and interactions, I would make my images as I moved through the scene, never looking through the camera.

Moment of Introspection

Finally, when time and circumstances allow, I will stop moving, meet someone new and spend a moment engaging and really working towards a portrait.  I did that most during my recent North by Northeast project. 

I Love New York. Woman shielding her eyes in front of a bus in New York City. From the 21 Days : NYC series by Don Willett

21 Days : NYC

I lived in NYC during the 90s and that decade defined what I am today. After so many years away, I wanted to see how I've evolved apart from the City. So on the 21st anniversary of my departure, I went back for 21 days to see what had changed and what remained.
21 Days : NYC was exhibited at a Solo show at the Baltimore Creative Alliance's Amalie Rothschild Gallery.


North by Northeast (NxNe)

I traveled 3500 miles exploring a part of Eastern Canada that I'd always wanted to experience. The resulting images focus on the beautiful landscapes and amazing people I met in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and along the Cabot Trail.

4 Days in LA

The series of images from Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Four Days of sun, palm trees and portraits.

No Vacation Taken

Images of a vacation that never occurred. Following the loss of a loved one and a renewed realization of opportunities lost.

Hampden Centennial

Before I moved to NYC, I rented a house in Hampden for a couple of years. It's a former mill town of small row homes, built for the workers who created sail cloth centuries ago. There were artists, poverty and violence. But also strange kindnesses, like when someone broke into my car and lived in it for a couple of days, but didn't take anything... So it was a real treat to be asked to shoot a "Day in the Life of Hampden" project to celebrate the Centennial of the town.